Preventing boil-overs

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dierythmus

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My last brew had a pretty bad boil over. I'm brew extracts on a gas stove. What are the best ways to prevent them?

I'm going to try the spray bottle next time. Should I use simply water, or star san/water mix?
 

duboman

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+1 to the above, you can also use Fermcap-S or even baby drops or anything with simethicone or another product called Patcote 376 which is free of silicone. All are anti foam agents-there is a list of suitable substitutes somewhere on the site, can't remember the link though so try a search-I believe Revvy posted the list awhile back:)
 

seriousbeef

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How much head space are you giving yourself between liquid volume and the rim of the kettle? I just constantly stir vigorously until the foam begins to recede.
 

unionrdr

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^^That's what I've been doing. Then with partial mash,I start stiring just as the hot break begins to form. I can keep it down then. But a spray bottle of cold water at the ready is always a good idea.
 

RIC0

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Most stoves can boil water at a lower setting than the hottest super duper nuclear melt down setting on the dial.

If your dial goes to say 8, put it on 7 or 6.5 no reason to blast it wide open, well you can but expect boil overs.

I've never come close to a boil over on the stove or propane. I do full 5 gal boils in a 7 gal pot and dont have issues. Heat control and paying attention go a long way.
 

unionrdr

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Mine go up to "9",so I turn it down to "8" when it starts to boil.That high setting is already slowing down the socket on one of my new burners.
 

Stocktonbrew

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I came close with a big porter yesterday. My rear puckered a little. I reduced heat and was blowing like mad. Luckily no boil over.
 

BridgewaterBrewer

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Spray bottle with water works very well. Some people say an electric fan works great too. I've started using a pot watcher which also seems to help a lot. It's a stainless steel disk that turns all the little bubbles into a few large bubbles which rather than lift the foam up actually penetrate through it. You can still get a boil over though. Haven't tried fermcap but planning to get some soon.
 

mjrodney

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My limited experience at this game has only seen one near, but astoundingly quick, and threatened boil over.

Despite stirring at 7400 rpm and almost causing a fantail to erupt like a trimmed up power boat, the only thing that saved me was a spritz or twenty from a spray bottle of plain water.

A lesson I learned very quickly......turn the heat down a notch when you first reach the rolling boil point.
 

SwillyBilly

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After my first boilover I started using Fermcap and haven't had one since.

My last brew was 8.5 gallons in a 9 gallon kettle so I think the stuff works. :)
 

LTownLiquorPig

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I am brand new to full boils and such, so I thought it might be a good idea to boil with the paint strainer bag on the pot for hops. As it turns out, it also kept foam down......
 

Blueman89

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I watch the pot like a hawk til it starts foaming , I let the foam come up an inch or so and then lift the pot off the heat till the foam drops.
 

flars

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Have the heat setting at less than full. A spray bottle handy. Stir with a lifting motion to break the surface tension created by the hot break.
 
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